#347 Ironclad Beetle

Critically Endangered

There was not much information about these that I could find. Other than the IUCN which I use every day, there was a little bit of information on the Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group. Beyond I found one scientific paper that seemed to be available on several sites, but they are ones you have to pay for and I cannot afford to pay for scientific articles. So, what I have determined is these beetles are found in just one small area of Terceira Island which is part of the Azores (part of Portugal). They are nocturnal and eat fungus, living in rotting wood and dirt. The one picture I am certain is it showed it covered with a yellow-orange sort of hair and it is very bumpy. I should have painted it with a brown background because of the dirt and wood, but it would have blended in too much.


I was laughing when doing the research for this painting. Because I could find so little information about it I searched with the scientific name on Wikipedia (Tarphius relictus). Wikipedia asked if I meant tarasius rectus. I clicked on the link for that. Nope, that doesn't exist either, how about you try Tarsus rector. Since I was already heading down this rabbit hole I clicked on that too. That didn't work either but it suggested "Taurus records". A page specifically for that did not exist either but it did have a page for Taurus record albums because apparently Taurus is a Norwegian record label. They also had a couple pages about the Ford Taurus. That was all certainly not very helpful, but I did find it funny. Some of the animals I absolutely have to contact a biologist/entomologist/herpetologist/whatever smart person is tied to the animal I am looking at. This one had a single very clear picture of a specimen though so I was able to paint it even without having any real information.

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